Kansas held its caucus today, and my wife and I attended, in part to support Ron Paul, but also in the hopes we’d meet him. He planned to meet with supporters at several sites in Johnson County, and spoke at one location. We got checked in and found seats near the middle of the room; the average age of the caucus goers was well north of sixty, not a good sign for Paul.
Before the festivities began Dr. Paul made an appearance, mingling with the voters and posing for pictures. I shook his hand and asked for a photo. He obliged and I mentioned that I was a “veteran for Paul,” which sparked a brief conversation. He asked if I had deployed and to where, I told him I went to Iraq, twice. He said that our voice is important to the movement, because so many people who have never served don’t know what it’s really like and think they know what’s best. All they (the government) want to do is use us.
Shortly after, Paul moved on to the next site and it was time for the speeches. Surrogates for the other three candidates spoke, and then it was time for Paul’s representative. The guy took the podium and basically said he didn’t want to be there, but mentioned that Paul has been good at attracting Independent voters, which is crucial to winning against Obama. He then repeated his distaste for speaking and asked if any other Ron Paul supporter wanted to take the floor.
Embarrassed for Paul and for his supporters I stood up, hoping to salvage what I could and make the most of the remaining time in our five minute allotment. Below is my attempt. The video was not taken from the best angle – my wife had to keep low, not wanting to suffer the same fate I did the first time I tried recording something. (Some old woman sitting in the next row thought bludgeoning me with her cane was more appropriate than simply asking me to move).
My introduction started with “My name is Joel Poindexter, I’m from Shawnee, Kansas and this is my first opportunity to do this. During the last election I was in Iraq and didn’t have a chance to participate in the caucus.”
Several people told me they were on the fence before the speeches but decided to vote for Paul, so that was encouraging. Unfortunately the state, which divides its delegates proportionately, went mostly to Santorum; Romney picked up a few delegates as well in the process. Hopefully this means that the race will be prolonged, ensuring a brokered convention, as the campaign thinks it might be the best option at this point.